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Talk me into or out of a Class B RV purchase
Old 10-18-2016, 03:46 PM   #1
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Talk me into or out of a Class B RV purchase

Recently my wife and I tent camped for three nights at Shenandoah National Park. We took day hikes and had a blast before returning to work the following week. We both commented how much we would like to visit many/most of the National Parks in the U.S. and Canada after retiring next year, we both prefer staying in campgrounds but we are both pretty much done with tents.

We have been fanaticizing about the purchase of a class B RV (class B is a smaller van type RV that is easier to maneuver than the big trailers/campers that you often see on the roads).

These suckers cost north of $100K new but can be had for ~ 50% of MSRP if you buy one that is lightly used and three to four years old. The downside is that you are buying into costs to store and maintain a vehicle that is not used year round.

I am torn on this because I love the thought of using such a rig but I hate the thought of paying to store and maintain it.

I would appreciate any thoughts from folks that have had experience owning/vacationing in these things.
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Old 10-18-2016, 03:52 PM   #2
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grew up vacationing in a pop-up camper as a teenager, TX, NM, CO, etc. - we were too po to stay in hotels (mods, feel free to que the 4 yorkshiremen)

I'd just get a used pop-up and see how that goes before forking over for a RV
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:04 PM   #3
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I second the idea of a pop-up or maybe a small travel trailer. You may still have the costs of storage but you can buy new or used units for far less than a camper van.

Although we've never had a class B RV, we've owned pop-ups (3), a class C, a travel trailer, a 5th Wheel and a even a 40' diesel pusher motor home.

Others will have their own opinion, but the problem I have with a class B is when you camp you have to unhook and haul your house with you to sight-see, or even to make a run to the grocery store. Plus, they are very cramped for living space - especially when it rains on you for a couple of days!
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:13 PM   #4
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Some neighbors have a class B and they really like it.... too small for me.

We camped in popups for many years and really enjoyed it. Nice thing is that once you are set up you have a 'normal" vehicle for touring the area.

My dad had a class C and a towed car for traveling and they lived out of that in winter for 3-4 years when they first retired.

I think the hardside popups are pretty cool and would be less expensive and more convenient that a class B. Here is the floorplan for one from Rockwood.

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Old 10-18-2016, 04:16 PM   #5
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It all depends what you want to do with your time do you want to go to other countries or see this one. We have a travel trailer and want to see the many things this country has to offer.WE enjoy the people we meat in the camp grounds never had a bad experience.
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:16 PM   #6
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^ after I got out of college my folks bought a HI-LO - that thing was awesome
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:21 PM   #7
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That's what I was thinking of.... the HI-LO. Found their website... a new one is $17,500 if you pick it up and i'm sure you can find affordable used units... IMO better than spending even $50k for a used class B... especially if you already have a vehicle that can tow.
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:24 PM   #8
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That's what I was thinking of.... the HI-LO. Found their website... a new one is $17,500 if you pick it up and i'm sure you can find affordable used units... IMO better than spending even $50k for a used class B... especially if you already have a vehicle that can tow.
that's it? 17K? I bet you could get a used one for half that
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:27 PM   #9
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actually this may be my folks' old one

2002 Hi Lo Hi-Lo 24, New Braunfels TX - - RVtrader.com

it wasn't this ragged out when they used it tho
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:29 PM   #10
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I had a palomino colt, bought it new, used it twice and it was stolen off the storage facility
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:42 PM   #11
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The problem with the new HI-LO is the interior height is only 6'2". My husband is 6'4", my older son (15yo) is 6'3" (on his way to about 6'5") and younger son (13 yo) is 5'11". That trailer just won't work for my family.

But I keep checking other pop-up tent trailers.
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:59 PM   #12
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the problem I have with a class B is when you camp you have to unhook and haul your house with you to sight-see, or even to make a run to the grocery store.
+1 My late wife & I, when we sold up and began fulltime RVing at her behest, initially bought a used Pleasureway....when you go anywhere, everything has to be firmly stowed.......a 5th wheel was a vast improvement.

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Plus, they are very cramped for living space - especially when it rains on you for a couple of days!
The first day on the road, with a 70lb Border Collie and a cat, we had gotten about 50 miles before we realized it was waaay too small.
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Old 10-18-2016, 05:01 PM   #13
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The problem with the new HI-LO is the interior height is only 6'2". My husband is 6'4", my older son (15yo) is 6'3" (on his way to about 6'5") and younger son (13 yo) is 5'11". That trailer just won't work for my family.

But I keep checking other pop-up tent trailers.
I'm 6'2" and I dn't remember crouching in the old hi-lo, maybe the new ones are just shorter

that thing was pretty heavy for my dad to tow, he had to get special brakes and stuff
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Old 10-18-2016, 06:32 PM   #14
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I am not an "RV person" (if such exists), but I was wondering if perhaps you could rent a Class B RV for a week or two? That would tell you so much more than we ever could.

I think renting one would probably give you a sense of whether or not such a purchase would end up in buyer's remorse. But I don't have any idea where, if anywhere, one could rent one.

Perhaps you could store it in your back yard, after building a carport or garage that is the right size for it back there.
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Old 10-18-2016, 06:48 PM   #15
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You won't find any Class B's for rent, but you can rent a Class C unit at many locations in the U.S. We've found some Class A's for the same price of a Class B, and you get so much more for your money in an entry level Class A.

I've had RV's since 1995, and currently have a 2015 model 36' fifth wheel trailer. We keep it in a member owned campground 85 miles out of Atlanta in the North Georgia Mountains. It's a wonderful region that's so close to millions of people.

I agree that going with a high quality pop up would be great for your first year--to try out the lifestyle. They're just so easy to deal with, and not at all hard to resell used if you decide to move up to a more substantial unit.

I suggest you hit some of the big city RV Shows that usually begin in October. You can easily compare different type units to figure out what would suit your needs best.
We mostly stay in the same place when camping in our fifth wheel. My cousin, the cowboy, tows a horse trailer behind his Class A--which suits him well at dude ranches.
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:02 PM   #16
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We bought a used motorhome that is 27 ft from some friends. It is 19 years old and we are it's 3rd owner. It has 47k/miles on it. My friends traveled for a year in it. We thought we would do the same but a month was plenty. The last time we went for 4 days and that was plenty. We have an 80lb dog and 3-5lb dogs. As you can see none of the owners used it very much. I would rent one first to see how you like it. So glad we did not buy new.
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:43 PM   #17
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I would like to thank everyone who has responded so far and I hope we get more comments. One limiting factor is that neither my wife or I want to tow any type of camper, even a small pop up. We also do not want to drive a large RV, so for us it will likely be a class B or nothing. I do think that I would definitely go the used route with the hope that we could sell it if it is not for us. Still, we do enjoy so much about tent camping so we do not need a ton of space. It also helps that we do not have pets.
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:51 PM   #18
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...so for us it will likely be a class B or nothing.
Then it looks like all you can do is buy it and try it - or not. Might be just the thing for you but it would be a divorce in the making for us.
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Old 10-18-2016, 08:15 PM   #19
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OP, what does the pop-up offer over a tent? We tent camped a lot during our four month road trip and didn't see much of an advantage of having a pop up. We have a large, cheap, Walmart tent that we bought when the airline lost my luggage which contained a backpacking tent. If we wanted, we would have enough space to create a comfortable bed in the tent. As it was, we used our backpacking sleeping pads and bags.






Here is a link to class B rentals. I don't know anything about this site, but I believe there are some out there to rent. Class B Motor Home Rental | American RV
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Old 10-18-2016, 08:48 PM   #20
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Not sure I see the point in smaller RVs if you are able to physically (cold or movement) tent camp. May be easier to drive, but you still have to haul your home away from home everywhere and they seem cramped to me. If I had the extra $$, a place to store it, and could tow a car behind I could maybe see a large RV, but I'll take our tent.

Granted, it is an REI Kingdom 8 used for two people and not 4-8 people, but I can stand up everywhere in it, we hook together a queen and twin air mattress to fill one room tent wall to wall with quite comfortable bedding (also have insulator pads on top of air, hooked together, and lay down sheets), while in the other room we can move the table in if it is rainy, or it is just a gear temp room for out stuff.

Maybe it is all the mesh windows (wish there were more actually) and mesh sunroof that makes it feel like we are in nature, and not cramped inside of a plastic box with a couple of windows.
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